County Unveils Shorelink Shuttles
Shuttle services aims to ease traffic, aid visitors
Monmouth County officials alongside members of local governing bodies and state legislators gathered at the Belmar Train Station on Friday to unveil the Shorelink Shuttle, a transit system designed to move visitors through coastal municipalities while easing traffic congestion for local residents.
Monmouth County Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone beamed as he introduced the shuttle, which begins operation July 1.
"This is going to be a splendid, splendid thing for our area," Arnone said.
Each Shorelink shuttle seats 15 passengers and is handicapped accessible by motorized lift. They are also air-conditioned to help ensure a comfortable ride during the hot summer months.
The project was funded by a grant from the Federal Transit Authority. 75 percent of the cost was paid through grant with each of the municipal partners taking up the remainder.
The shuttle service represents a collaborative effort between a number of partners including the Meadowlink Transportation Management Association, NJTransit and the North jersey Transportation Planning Authority.
The shuttles are being introduced in Asbury Park, Ocean Grove, Bradley Beach and Belmar to start, with more likely to be added in subsequent years.
Each shuttle will run a continuous loop through its designated municipality and will transport visitors from the train station, to the beachfront and to downtown business districts with ease.
Shuttle stops will be designated throughout towns by sign.
Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, speaking during Friday's press event, explained that a transit system such as Shorelink will prove invaluable in helping the borough deal with the seasonal influx.
Doherty explained that Belmar, which has a yearly residential population of just under 6,000, is likely to see nearly 60,000 visitors for the Fourth of July weekend.
"We also want to encourage them to shop and dine at our stores and restaurants on Main Street, this makes it more convenient for them to park at Main Street and shuttle down to the beach," Doherty said.
Mayor Julie Schrek of Bradley Beach was grateful for the opportunity to partner with Monmouth County, noting that the collaboration allowed Bradley Beach to do a project it likely could not have afforded to complete itself.
"Public transportation is definitely the future of this country," Schrek said.
In Belmar, the stops will include: the Belmar Train Station, 10th Avenue and Main Street, 5th Avenue and Main Street, 5th and Ocean avenues, 10th and Ocean avenues, 15th and Ocean avenues, 18th and Ocean avenues and 18th Avenue and Main Street (in Lake Como).
The combined Ocean Grove/Bradley Beach shuttle will service stops at: the Bradley Beach Train Station, Main Street and Ocean Park Avenue, Main Avenue in downtown Ocean Grove, Ocean Avenue at the Ocean Grove beachfront, as well as Ocean Park and Ocean avenues, Brinley and Ocean avenues and Evergreen and Ocean avenues along the Bradley Beach oceanfront.
The Asbury Park shuttle will stop at: The Asbury Park Train Station, Main Street and Asbury Avenue, Main Street and Sunset Avenue, Ocean and Third avenues, Ocean and Asbury avenues near the Casino, Cookman and Grand avenues, and Cookman Avenue and Emory Street.
A shuttle ride will cost $1 and service will be offered from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Service will be offered on both Independence Day and Labor Day.
For more information visit www.ezride.org.